Today I am sharing a roundup of helpful tutorials for customizing your own blog! I focused on some of the most popular blog trends and found tutorials for you to do it on your own.
We all love plugins, but we also know that too many unnecessary plugins can slow your blog down. Luckily, there are awesome bloggers out there that share simple tutorials so that you can do the customizations on your own!
Go ahead and jump down to a tutorial that interests you:
Create additional widget areas | Customize your navigation menu | Create gallery category pages | Create a full width responsive header
Most of these tutorials are for Genesis themes. That’s one thing I love about Genesis, how simple it is for me to customize my blog.
Creating additional widget areas
Having additional widget areas can make your life easier as a blogger. Widget areas allow you to add content to your blog other than within pages or posts. Below are tutorials for creating a widget are for above the header, after a post, and in the footer. If you’re feeling advanced, you can also read StudioPress’ tutorial for creating widget areas.
Create a welcome bar for your blog
You know, that colorful bar at the top of blogs that contain a call to action? There are a lot of plugins that will do this for you, (some that you have to display their logo) but Carrie’s tutorial will help you set on up on your own widget are above your header!
Having a widget section after your posts is a great way to display ads without adding them into every single post. With the most recent update of Genesis, it is actually really easy to set up a widget area after your posts. Simply add this code to the bottom of your functions.php file:
add_theme_support( ‘genesis-after-entry-widget-area’ );
However, this method isn’t styled so you might want to check out Carrie’s tutorial on creating an after posts widget.
This tutorial will help you set up a 4 column footer.
StudioPress also has instructions for how to add footer widgets
How to customize your blogs navigation bar
The navigation bar is just that, a way to navigate your readers through your blog. Below are tutorials to help you customize your navigation bar.
Add social icons to nav par
I love the idea of adding social media icons in your menu bar, especially if you use the tutorial below to make it a sticky navigation bar.
Make your navigation menu sticky.
This blog trend is on the rise right now. I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers switching to a sticky nav menu to offer easy navigation for their readers. Sridhar’s tutorial will walk you through how to make your header, primary nav, or secondary navigation sticky. He also explains how to make your navigation bar trnasparent.
WPSites has a tutorial is not only for Genesis users, but he also has instructions for ccreating a sticky navigation menu using the default WordPress themes.
Change location of navigation menu
Find a theme you love but want the navigation bar above the header and not below? StudioPress has simple instructions for changing the location of your navigation menu.
More tutorials for customizing your blog
Here are a few more of my favorite tutorials for customizing your blogs
Gallery category pages
I think this might be one of the fastest growing trends in blog design right now! We are very visual people, so it makes sense!
This is by far the easiest tutorial for creating a gallery for your category pages. This tutorial is for any WordPress theme, not just Genesis. The grid will actually display on any type of archive page.
If you only want gallery on your category pages use this tutorial for creating a 4 column gallery using featured images and title.
Full width header
Lindsey of Pretty Darn Cute Designs created an awesome full width responsive header tutorial that will work even when device sizes change. All of the other tutorials I have used in the past made it so you would need to update the code every time a new mobile device size came out. That’s not cool because they change a lot. Parts of this tutorial are specific to PDCD themes.
If your current theme does not have the option to upload an image for the header, follow Carries instructions for adding an image to the header. and then proceed with the full width tutorial.
How to customize individual widgets
I’m sharing this tutorial because I have personally found it very helpful! You should check out this tutorial if you want your widgets to have different styles. It’s how my author box and my subscription box are different colors.
Change basic styles
If you want to change your blog background, get new fonts for text or change colors within your theme, check out 3 simply ways to customize your blog.
Helpful sites for customizing your blog
If you checked out any of the links above, you’ll probably notice that they are mostly from the same sources. When I want to change something with my blog design, I don’t even bother going to Google anymore, I just go straight to these blogs:
I hope this tutorial helps you customize your blog! Are there any other things you would like to learn how to customize on your own? Any other tutorails you think I should add
I love on your homepage that you feature an image and the post next to it and it is all vertical. Did you follow a tutorial to change that?
Thanks for all the help!
Kristie Hill says
I do not have a tutorial for that, but I can help. First, which theme do you use? Genesis themes make this super easy and I can provide instruction if you have a Genesis theme.
I am actually using the Minimum Pro theme similar to your site. Thank you for the help! I greatly appreciate it.
Masud Pilot says
More informative post than i thought .
Kristie Hill says
How do your change the fonts and colors. I thought I could just change them in the “paragraph, H1, H2 etc” but I don’t know how. BTW, what comment program do you use?
Kristie Hill says
Hi, Mary! It’s been a while. How are you and Life is Just Ducky? I noticed you are using the Foodie theme, which means you are in luck! Changing the fonts and colors is super easy with that theme, everything is done within the customize screen. Log in to your WordPress account and navigate to appearance > customize. You’ll have options for fonts and colors there. 🙂 Let me know if that’s not doing the trick for you.
My comments are just native WordPress.
Rahul Biswal says
I want to adjust the spacing between categories of Genesis primary navigation bar. How can I do this?
I had no idea that there is a way to create a utility bar above the header, I have always used a plugin for that. Great tips, Kristie!
Kristie Hill says
Adding widget areas is one of the best features of Genesis! Pretty easy to do without a plugin.
Carrie Dils says
Thanks for the great roundup and the mention!
Kristie Hill says
You’re welcome Carrie, thanks for providing awesome tutorials!
Nessa Jay says
Hey there! I nominated you for the Liebster Award. If you’d like to accept you can find the questions here: http://blog.lalasparty.com/2014/11/lalas-party-was-nominated-for-liebster.html
Have a great day! 🙂